Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Feeling gratitude and not expressing it
is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~ William Arthur Ward

When was the last time you gave a silent “thank you” for all the good things in your life?

I think I’ve accidentally omitted that piece of the happiness puzzle lately. I seemed to be more focused recently on the things missing in my life, rather than on all the many blessings that are right under my nose. I have a tendency to do this if I’m not careful: I look at what’s wrong instead of what’s right.

That stops today.

The November issue of Better Homes and Gardens has a wonderful article that I’ve read through a couple of times now. It addresses the benefit of counting our blessings all year round – not just at Thanksgiving. Here’s the paragraph I've been mulling over:

...Research shows that making gratitude a part of everyday living promotes good health, elevates happiness, and boosts relationships. Psychologists say that perpetually grateful people are optimistic and energetic, which helps than handle stress and illness better than those who focus on the negative.

This is not new information to me: I’ve known it for years now and preach it to anyone who'll listen! But remembering to put it into practice myself is a whole different story. It’s amazing to me how easy it is to give in to that pull toward the negative.

When I think about it, gratitude is what’s been missing lately during this time of “I don’t give a darn about anything” mood I’ve been in. I’ve been lethargic, pessimistic, and let’s not even talk about the amount of food I’ve been consuming to make all those icky feelings go away!

There’s a wonderful quote in the magazine article mentioned above. Patricia Carlson of the nonprofit A Network for Grateful Living, states: “Gratefulness has to do with experiencing the fullness of life. Sometimes we look at it as a play on words – it’s the great-fullness.”

So – attitude changes everything! I’m flipping my switch and turning on a grateful outlook starting today, not just for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, but for every day of the year. I'll need to stay focused and stop those "poor me" thoughts from sneaking into my brain. But I know that being aware of all that's good in my life, then taking the time to say "thank you" for those blessings, will make a huge difference.

Care to join me?

Until next time…

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity. ~Dorothy Parker

Hi - remember me?

I used to post to my blog on a fairly regular basis. I used to read blogs on a regular basis, as well.

Lately, I haven't done much of either.

Nothing's really been wrong - I think I've just been in a state of ennui. Yep, that's it: a general lack of interest. Not just in blogging - in everything. I think I'll blame it on hormones. I blame everything on hormones these days!

Oh, I've kept busy...

I've been tutoring at the jail twice a week.

Mark is doing extremely well, and really keeps me on my toes. We've moved into high gear because he's due to be released December 23. I want to expose him to as much GED preparation reading and writing as I can before he enters an adult education program in January.

I've been quilting.

I finished this little cowboy-themed table-topper for two dear friends of mine who recently married. I'm also working on several Christmas gifts, which I can't post here until after the holiday, just in case certain people read my blog!

I led a discussion for the first time at my book club.

We talked about the book Pope Joan, which is fascinating for those of you who love historical fiction, like I do. It takes place in the 9th century, so we had an interesting discussion about women's roles then versus now. Thank goodness a lot has changed! Was there really a female pope? Read the book and see what you think.

And today, I volunteered for four hours at a local polling place.

I think this is what drove me to blog after such a long absence: I want to share with everyone what a wonderful experience it was this morning, to be part of the voting process. We had been warned of issues that might come up with voters or demonstrators, asking us to document things with camera phones, etc. I was pretty upset about it all yesterday, wondering what in the world has happened to our country that we're so bitterly divided.

But opening the polls this morning at 7:00 AM and finding a line of cheerful and proud people waiting to vote contradicted every bad thing we'd heard might happen. Yes, we are still very much divided in our nation, and I hope whichever person is elected will work very hard to unite our country once again.

However, the greatest thing I saw this morning was a Mom and Dad with their young adult son. It was his first time voting. They were taking pictures of him in front of the fire station where we were located, standing next to the "polling place" sign and the American flag. The young man was grinning from ear to ear, pointing to his "I Voted Today" sticker. I know it sounds corny, but it was a proud moment to be an American.

* * * * *

So, I'm hoping that my feeling of ennui has passed and I can once again feel engaged in life. The holidays are fast approaching and this is way too busy of a time to feel blah! Forgive me for not keeping up on your blogs, but know that I'm going to do my best to catch up on things.

Until next time...